Jesus specifically tells the man he heals not to tell anyone what has happened. How unrealistic can a person, even if he is the Son of God, be? If something really good happens to you, the first thing you do is tell others about it. If you have been healed from sort of skin disease it would be literally impossible to hide the fact that you had been healed of the disease. Therefore, we have to assume that the words of Jesus are a literary device of Mark. If this is the case we have to ask ourselves, “What is the point that Mark is trying to make here?”

I believe that Mark is trying to portray to the reader that once a person encounters Jesus it is impossible for them to remain silent about the encounter. The gospels are full of examples to this effect; the lives of the saints also witness to the same sort of power and compulsion that is put into motion when someone meets Jesus and has there life changed by the encounter. The interesting thing about encounters with Jesus is that they are as many and varied as there are people in the world. That is, just because God meets one person in a particular way does not mean that He will meet the next person in the same way.

God desires to draw all people to Himself and will go to whatever lengths are necessary to achieve this goal. As we reflect upon the nature of the biblical encounters with Jesus let us try to open our lives more fully to the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we will be open to the movement of God in our lives and not miss the opportunity to allow Him to bring deeper conversion to our hearts. It is only when we are open to what God wants to do in our lives that He is able to work the miracle of conversion in them.

It is important that we read about the lives of the saints as it is from them that we can learn more about how God works in the lives of His people. We do the same to learn about our favorite film stars and sports icons; it is essential that we take this sort of practice into our spiritual life as well. After all, it is our spirituality that is going to have the greatest effect upon whether or not we enter into eternal life.

When is the last time that I read about the life of one of the saints? Does my commitment to getting to know the saints equal my commitment to learning about film or sports stars.

Father, thank you for the gift of your love. I pray for the grace to open my life to it more and more each day so that I give the Holy Spirit the greatest opportunity possible to change my life.